Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D.-R.I., has introduced a bill that would allow people with high medical bills to bankrupt their student loans. I sympathize with the basic impulse, but this is absolutely the wrong way to go about it.
The inability to bankrupt student loans is ... what's the word I'm looking for? Right absurd. If people need bankruptcy relief, they need bankruptcy relief; there's no reason that debts owed to the government should get special deference in a bankruptcy proceeding. (Technically, student loan debts are not owed to the government, but most of the loans are guaranteed by the government, so ultimately, it's Uncle Sam who loses when you default.)
It's not like student loans somehow become especially more problematic if you also have high medical bills. I mean, sure, medical bills often go along with an income problem that makes it hard to pay back your loans. But many other things often go along with income problems that make it hard to pay back your loans. In fact, that's the definition of insolvency: You don't have enough income to pay back your loans.